When did the last North Atlantic passenger ship lines [cease] operations?

When did the last North Atlantic passenger ship lines seize their operations? By passenger ship, I mean a vessel with the sole intended purpose of moving passengers from A to B, like commercial airplanes in the modern era (i. e. not cruise ships or freight ships).

The Queen Mary 2 is still taking people between North America and Europe.

And it’s cease not seize.

But almost nobody is going to be using it for the primary purpose of transportation. It’s really just a cruise that happens to take you somewhere else.

Yes, but the Queen Mary is a cruise ship (see my question).


Probably 1969 when the SS United States was taken out of commission.

The qm 2 is not a cruise ship, it’s an ocean liner that was designed for crossing the Atlantic , it’s much faster than a normal cruise ship. some people eg if they have a fear of flying , do use it as a way of travelling.

Indeed. There might be the occasional traveller with a mortal fear of flying who books a cabin on the Queen Mary, but other than that, entertainment (i. e. enjoying the trip) is the main purpose.

Ok. I did not know that, I stand corrected.

:::raises hand:::. If I had two extra weeks to visit Europe, I’d take the QM2 as a primary means of transportation, because I just hate the process of flying, and especially airports and hoping that your flight will not be cancelled, that much. I’m not so much interested in cruises per se and have never been on one. I’d also be interested in a cruise around the Mediterranean but this would also be transportation even though it would be an actual cruise ship: I’d get to travel to a different city in Europe every night and then visit it during the day.

They never stopped doing full speed cross atlantic trips.
We all know that the long distance airliners have replaced ocean liners for travell,
but where along the way do we mark it ?

If you ask, what development was the trigger for the end of the ocean liner as the dominant form of trans-atlantic travel … which do you pick ?

From 1931 onwards, LZ 127 Graf Zeppelin operated the world’s first scheduled transatlantic passenger flights,

Pan am fly the first airplane passenger flights in 1939 but using sea planes, perhaps due to the loss of the germans derigibles…

Land based passenger flights started in 1945, the gap explained by the war…

Many immigrants still arrived at USA by boat after that though…

The first jet passenger service started in 1958, using the Dehaviland comets.

So what? If passengers are going to spend a week on a ship, they’re going to expect onboard activities. That was true even back before airplanes ever flew.

The point is you can still buy a one-way ticket from New York to London on a ship that primarily carries passengers and not freight. That’s a passenger ship line.

Even if we count the QM2 as an ocean liner, she didn’t start operation until 2004. Were there others before her, or was there a period when there were no passenger ships crossing the Atlantic?

(I suppose the case could be made for the QE2 which did “continue the Cunard tradition of regular scheduled transatlantic crossings every year of her service life” according to Wikipedia.)

It was later than that. In April, 1970, my family and I took the Alexander Pushkin from Montreal to London (Tilbury) for my sabbatical and it was not a cruise ship. We did it so that we could take more stuff with us. A few of the passengers actually took their cars. For the return trip in August 1971, we took the France from Bremerhaven to NY and that was not a cruise either.

SS France did the Le Havre - New York route from 1962 until 1974.

For the record, passenger ship security is not that far from airport security now. So you’ll be humiliated and damp and late instead of just humiliated.

Well, according to Wikipedia the Graf Zeppelin could carry 24 passengers and the Hindenburg 50. Since tha main lifeboats on the Titanic had a capacity of 65, I don’t think dirigibles had any sort of impact on the ocean liners, any more than the Concorde doomed subsonic jet liners.

Another group of people who might travel by ship rather than airplane would be those who cannot fly for medical reasons. A couple of weeks ago I had emergency surgery for a detached retina. Part of the procedure involved putting a large gas bubble in my eye (octoflouropropane, C3F8, for those of you keeping score at home). I cannot fly (and actually cannot travel to any sort of high altitude) until the bubble dissipates sufficiently (6-8 weeks). If this had happened while I was in vacation in Germany last fall I would likely have needed to return home by ship (or extended my vacation by a couple of months)…

From what I can tell the QE2 kept doing regularly scheduled transatlantic crossings until the QM2 took over in 2004.

Looking at the Cunard website the Queen Mary 2 does a pretty regular run between New York and Southampton with only a stop in Halifax on the eastbound trip. A round trip once a month. The prices are not too bad judging from Expedia they look pretty competitive. You can find cheaper flights but a lot of flights are basically the same price. Might be something to consider during retirement when adding a week on to the vacation is not such a problem.

I have a friend who did just that. She is terrified of flying and when she and her husband recently relocated from the Bay Area to Ireland they went via the Queen Mary.